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Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary

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Android
Google

Today, things are a little different. Android went from zero percent of the smartphone market to owning nearly 80 percent of it. Android has arguably won the smartphone wars, but "Android winning" and "Google winning" are not necessarily the same thing. Since Android is open source, it doesn't really "belong" to Google. Anyone is free to take it, clone the source, and create their own fork or alternate version.

As we've seen with the struggles of Windows Phone and Blackberry 10, app selection is everything in the mobile market, and Android's massive install base means it has a ton of apps. If a company forks Android, the OS will already be compatible with millions of apps; a company just needs to build its own app store and get everything uploaded. In theory, you'd have a non-Google OS with a ton of apps, virtually overnight. If a company other than Google can come up with a way to make Android better than it is now, it would be able to build a serious competitor and possibly threaten Google's smartphone dominance. This is the biggest danger to Google's current position: a successful, alternative Android distribution.

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Android: Video Editors, Antitrust/Forks, and Fuchsia OS

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Android

Google and Android

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Android
Google
  • Google Partners With Zapata on Open-Source Quantum Computing Effort
  • Google launches quantum framework Cirq, plans Bristlecone cloud move

    Google today launched Cirq, an open source framework for running algorithms on the quantum computers that will be available in the near future.

    A common problem researchers face when designing quantum algorithms for today’s quantum computers – the 50 to 100 qubit Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum devices – is in working within the limitations and nuances of the hardware.

  • Google wants to make programming quantum computers easier
  • Google Adds Kubernetes to Rebranded Cloud Marketplace

    Google's goal is to make containers accessible to everyone, especially the enterprise, according to Anil Dhawan, product manager for the Google Cloud Platform.

    When Google released Kubernetes as open source, one of the first challenges that the industry tackled was management, he said.

    Google's hosted Kubernetes Engine takes care of cluster orchestration and management. A bigger challenge to getting apps running on a Kubernetes cluster can be a manual, time-consuming process. GCP Marketplace provides prepackaged apps and deploys them onto any cluster, Dhawan noted.

    Google makes the process safer by testing and vetting all Kubernetes apps listed on GCP Marketplace. That process includes vulnerability scanning and partner agreements for maintenance and support.

  • Is Google Replacing Android with Fuchsia? Maybe, But Not for a Long Time

    Today Bloomberg is reporting that Google’s new Project Fuchsia operating system might actually be a successor to Android. Since this will likely fuel speculation, we thought we’d weigh in with our completely uninformed educated guesses as well.

    For those who haven’t read our previous explainer on Project Fuchsia (recommended reading), it’s a completely new operating system in the very early stages of development. It’s meant to be a universal operating system, capable of running on everything from smart speakers and smartphones to desktop computers. The idea would be an operating system that can literally run the same code on every single smart device—the holy grail of operating systems.

  • As EU tightens screws on Android, Google focuses on a Fuchsia future

    Google plans to replace Android with Fuchsia beginning with a smart speaker in 2021, says Bloomberg. Fuchsia could help Google sidestep Android-related legal threats from Oracle and the EU, which just slapped Google with a $5.1 billion fine.

    A Bloomberg report based on information from undisclosed sources within Google claims the company is planning to use its emerging Project Fuchsia OS as a replacement for Android, embedded Linux, and Chrome OS in devices ranging from smart speakers to phones, and eventually laptops. The first Fuchsia based smart speakers are expected in 2021.

  • Samsung Plans to Launch Foldable-Screen Phone Early Next Year

    Samsung Electronics Co. is planning to introduce a foldable-screen smartphone early next year, according to people familiar with the matter, as the world’s largest phone maker eyes a splashy device to help re-energize its slumping handset business.

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  • Samsung’s Long-awaited Foldable Screen Smartphone Arriving In 2019: Report
  • 8 Best Android Emulators For 2018 To Experience Android On Your PC

    Android Emulators are seemingly becoming more popular as Android’s popularity keeps growing. From developers testing apps to gamers playing on a large screen, users yearn for experiencing Android operating system with a mouse and keyboard, coupled with high specifications of the PC.

  • How To Add Animated GIF As Your Android Home Button?
  • How to get an animated GIF as your home button on Android [Root]

Microsoft's Lobbying Campaign for Android Antitrust Woes

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Android
Google
  • Google Hints A Future Where Android Might NOT Be Free
  • Android has created more choice, not less
  • Google Fined Record $5 Billion by EU, Given 90 Days to Stop ‘Illegal Practices’

    EU regulators rejected arguments that Apple Inc. competes with Android, saying Apple’s phone software can’t be licensed by handset makers and that Apple phones are often priced outside many Android users’ purchasing power.

  • EU: Google illegally used Android to dominate search, must pay $5B fine

    Thirdly, Google allegedly ran afoul of EU rules by deterring manufacturers from using Android forks. Google "has prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling even a single smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google," the commission said.

  • EU hits Google with US$5b fine over alleged Android misuse

    The European Union has hit Google with a second fine in as many years, demanding that the search behemoth pay €4.34 billion (US$5.05 billion, A$6.82 billion) for breaching anti-trust rules over its Android mobile operating system.

    Announcing the fine on Wednesday in Brussels, the EU said Google must end such conduct within 90 days or pay a penalty of up to 5% of the average daily turnover of its parent company, Alphabet.

    The company has said it will appeal against the fine.

  • iPhone users buy half as many apps as Android users, but spend twice as much

    Apple's app store is still yielding twice the revenue of Google Play, and yet is only recording half the number of downloads.

    The figures for Q1&2 of the year suggest Apple owners spent $22.6bn on apps, whilst Android users only spent $11.8bn.

  • The EU fining Google over Android is too little, too late, say experts

    The Play Store is free to use under licence from Google, but comes with a set of conditions smartphone manufacturers must meet. The most important of these, and the one the EC has a problem with, is the requirement to set Google as the default search engine and the pre-installation of certain apps, including Google Chrome, YouTube and the Google search app. Google also dictates that some of the pre-installed apps be placed on the homescreen.

  • Don’t Expect Big Changes from Europe’s Record Google Fine

    The decision by the European Commission, the EU’s regulatory arm, found that Google manages Android, which runs roughly 80 percent of the world’s smartphones, in ways that illegally harm competition. The ruling focused on three practices: the bundling of Google's Chrome web browser and its search app as a condition for licensing the Google Play store; payments Google makes to phone manufacturers and telecom companies to exclusively preinstall the Google search app on their devices; and Google's practice of prohibiting device makers from running Google apps on Android “forks,” or alternative versions of the software unapproved by Google. In its ruling, the commission ordered Google to stop all of those practices.

More Android Leftovers (Mostly Microsoft's Antitrust Push Against Android)

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